The Big Eddy Club

The Stocking Stranglings and Southern Justice

A “dazzlingly reported, supremely elegant” (The Observer) exposé of race, injustice, and serial murder in the deep south—Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with an investigative edge—now with an important update

“A gripping and brilliant piece of reporting that both lays bare an appalling miscarriage of justice and exposes its origins in the tortured history of the South. I could not put it down.” —Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

Called a “dazzlingly reported, supremely elegant” work by the Observer, The Big Eddy Club is an award-winning journalist’s exposé of race, injustice, and serial murder in the Deep South—Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with an investigative edge. Over eight bloody months in the mid-1970s, a serial rapist and murderer terrorized Columbus, Georgia, killing seven affluent, elderly white women—almost all members of the Big Eddy social club for the town’s elite. Carlton Gary, an African American man currently on death row for what came to be known as “the stocking stranglings,” came within four hours of being executed in December 2009.

The Big Eddy Club connects Gary’s late twentieth-century trial with racially charged trials in Columbus of a previous era, to explore the broad topic of racial justice in the American South. This edition includes an all-new afterword detailing the recent discovery of potentially exonerating evidence, which led to Gary’s last-minute stay of execution and will likely result in a new trial.

Praise

“About as good a piece of investigative reporting as you’re ever likely to get.”
The Sunday Times (London)
“[D]eeply fascinating . . . a damning, shameful saga.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[An] engrossing blend of true crime, legal drama and acute exposé of racial antagonism.”
Publishers Weekly
“Just as it has been for nearly twenty years, this case is provoking question and controversy. And so will this book.”
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
“A compelling legal drama and exposé of racism in the justice system.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“I have never heard a book talked about this much in all my years with the company.”
—Donna Sommer, Books-A-Million, Columbus, Georgia

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David Rose